Episode 13: Green-Eyed
Monster

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“Red Eye!” The call of the attack echoed over the tops of the trees, shaking leaves from their branches and trees to their roots. Devidramon, a canine-esque devil Digimon was attacking unrelentingly, trying to best Bambusmon, Valramon, and Skadimon, under the watchful eye of Ryudamon.

Tom, Eva, and Reyez all tried to dart around their Digimon, avoiding the natural hazards of the habitat, their Digimon’s feet and the attacks of their enemy. It turned out the attacks could paralyse them, as Bambusmon had found out moments before. She was now rooted to the spot; her claw hand was outstretched, ready to attack, but frozen. Still acutely aware of what was taking place around her.

“Crimson Claw!” Devidramon’s red claws swiped down at his frozen target.

“Duskbane!” Shadowy crows flocked around Devidramon’s head, forcing him to cease his attack, distracting and temporarily blinding him from what he wanted. Tom beckoned with one arm at Valramon, who kept above the others.

“Distract him, while you can!” he yelled.

Skadimon leaped over the heads of Tom and Reyez; Eva was on the other side of Devidramon, blocked by his flailing bulk. “Hungering Cold!” Skadimon’s maw lined with ice as his teeth bit down and into the other Digimon’s flesh. The crows around Devidramon’s head disappeared in a burst of blackness. Devidramon was screeching, clawing at the snow leopard Champion.

Bambusmon shook herself from the stupor, regaining her composure. The paralysis had worn off. For a moment she appeared confused about her situation, where she was and what she had been doing. Reyez, at her side, tapped her. She glanced at him.

“You’re gettin’ him,” he pointed at Devidramon, whose jaws were reaching for Skadimon, though he wrestled away from them every time he got to close.

Bambusmon nodded. “Of course.” She jumped into action, bounding a few steps over the ground, and then up into the air. Her claw hand stretched wide open, and aimed down at Devidramon. “Great Cannon!” The beam in her hand charged. Skadimon was thrown from Devidramon’s back against the trunk of a tree. There was a loud thump as he impacted the ground. Devidramon’s attention turned skyward, where Bambusmon’s attack was aimed directly at him.

“Red Ey—“

Devidramon cut short on a scream; the beam exploded from the female’s hand, raining down a torrent of bamboo shards and razor-edged leaves. Devidramon flailed his arms wildly in an attempt to block them and shield his eyes at the same time. Bambusmon dropped from the air, landing upon Devidramon’s neck.

“You shall not see me again,” she hissed nastily before swiping her hands over the black Digimon’s eyes. Another agonized screamed issued from the canine Digimon; blood spilled from his eye sockets, and dripped from Bambusmon’s claws. She hopped gracefully off of him down to the ground.

Devidramon’s torn and ragged wings flapped in a desperate attempt to get away, now knowing he was outnumbered and without hope. The wind from his downward flaps pushed those on the ground away with the force.

“Don’t let him get away!” Ryudamon yelled from where he kept a safe distance from the ongoing battle. “Remember: work together! Utilize your skills!”


“Night Strike!” Valramon dove from an astonishing height, smashing hard against Devidramon’s back as he took off from the ground. He crashed back into the earth, snapping tree trunks as if they were twigs with the impact of his bulk.

"Foliage Domination!” Vines sprouted from Bambusmon’s clawed hand, wrapping around the neck and arms of the injured Digimon. Bambusmon braced herself on the ground, and used another tree to hold on to. Valramon swooped in from the sky again.

“Night Strike!” Another attack, this time into Devidramon’s side. He screeched and went hurtling through a large tree trunk; it snapped at the base and toppled precariously.

Skadimon pounced from the ground, off a tree and onto the back of Devidramon. “Frozen Grip!” His claws encased in ice, he dug them in and through Devidramon’s skin, latching on tightly to the flaying Digimon. Bambusmon yanked her vines backwards, pulling the devil Digimon to the ground.

“Duskbane!” More crows appeared, swooping and diving around Devidramon’s head, cawing loudly, causing distraction and pecking at his face.

Growling deeply, Skadimon’s jaws became icicles. “Hungering Cold!” He bit down over Devidramon’s emaciated back, his jaws on either side of his spine. Devidramon screeched in agony. Skadimon’s jaws contracted around the bone and he pulled back. There was a sickening crack of bones breaking, of vertebra snapping. Another scream from Devidramon and finally his body went limp.

Skadimon hit the ground on four paws as Devidramon slumped. His form disintegrated into particles, hovering and dividing, and eventually dispersing into each of the three D-Touches. Ryudamon hopped down from a low tree branch, approaching the group as they congregated around each other and their Digimon.

He was smiling a little. “Very good. Impressive…” he commented and nodded slowly. “The training is paying off I see. You listen to each other – you’re more in tune.”

Bambusmon regarded the smaller Digimon. “It did seem that way. We make quite an acceptable team.”

“Heh – yeah. Just got to put three and three together and make six,” Reyez muttered. He was rifling through his pocket for a packet of smokes, as was his habit, it seemed, after every fight or mildly stressful situation.

“I think we can do it,” Valramon said firmly. She ruffled her feathers, glowed green and shrunk down to Poemon. Skadimon and Bambusmon did the same, returning to their forms of Irbimon and Ailurmon. “I mean, we’re better than we were, right?” She looked at Tom, who nodded.

“We should get back,” Eva added. “The others are probably wondering where we are.”

“And I’m hungry!” Irbimon said loudly.

Ailurmon scoffed. “Right. When arent you?” She started walking next to Reyez, who followed Ryudamon. Tom was beside him, and Eva and Irbimon brought up the rear, though Irbimon only took tiny steps, sulking.

“She didn’t mean it,” Eva said, trying to cheer up her Digimon who was pouting.

“Do you think I’m greedy? Or fat?” Irbimon asked, giving his partner his best baleful gaze. Eva, well accustomed to this look and no longer as easily affected by it, pursed her lips.

“Not fat… no, but you… do like your food.” Irbimon pouted even more. “Not that that’s a bad thing!” Irbimon turned away from her and started walking the opposite direction. “Irbimon~!” Eva perused.

“Eva, let’s go. Just leave him to sulk,” Tom called after her. Irbimon had run off out of sight, Eva was also still moving in the direction he had disappeared into. Poemon paused, Tom too.

Ryudamon noticed the stop in the party and turned back. Reyez and Ailurmon waited too, bored.

“I can’t. You know how he gets…” Eva murmured.

Tom rolled his eyes. “Eva,” he said firmly. “He can take care of himself. You should stop pandering to his tantrums.”

“It’s not pandering. He’s my friend,” Eva retorted.

“You treat him like a kid. No wonder he’s such a spoiled brat of a Digimon!” Tom snapped. He didn’t often let his temper go. In fact, he tried to keep it under control especially when it came to Eva, Irbimon and their current situation. But for now he was tired, nearly exhausted. It was late in the evening, he was hungry, and he was starting to dislike how Irbimon had Eva wrapped around his little finger as it were.

Irbimon appeared. “I am not a spoiled brat!” he growled.

“Really? Then how would you describe yourself?” Tom argued. “Because if not a spoiled brat, then how about a trial? Annoying? A real strain on a person? A menace? Or should we just settle on plain stupid?”

“H-hey…” Poemon said, timidly raising her wings up. Ailurmon tapped the other female Digimon and shook her head.

“Why are you being so mean to Irbimon?” Eva asked, her face marred with mixture of confusion and anger.

Tom snapped his hands together into fists. “God! Why do you always take his side?! I’m your boyfriend, if you happen to have forgotten that fact.”

Eva blinked in surprise. “N-no… I hadn’t forg-“

“You’re a pretty lousy boyfriend,” Irbimon growled. His fur was bristling. Tom’s eyes darted to the small snow leopard. “You can’t hold down a job for more than a couple of months. You don’t help around the apartment. You didn’t save Eva when she was in danger from Terasumon or Tsukuyomon. You never listen. All you do is complain. You suck!”

The lower lid of Tom’s left eye twitched in irritation and he turned his gaze to Eva. “Is that what you think? That I ‘suck’? As he so eloquently puts it?” He waited for a reply. Eva’s mouth opened and closed once or twice but she kept silent.

Reyez inhaled through his teeth. “Awkward…”

Tom sighed. “Fine then. If that’s what you think.” He turned swiftly and started walking away from the group.

“Tom, wait!” Eva yelled. He carried on walking purposefully. “Stop! You didn’t give me a chance!” Eva shouted again. He did not stop and continued away. Poemon gave chase after him. Eva blinked several times, her eyelashes collecting tears. She swallowed hard, and quickly rubbed her sleeve over her eyes. She glanced at Irbimon expecting a comment, but he remained silent.

Ryudamon exhaled heavily. “We should get back.”

“You’re going to leave him?” Eva questioned, aghast.

“Yes.” Ryudamon nodded. “He needs some time to cool down. Going after him now will only prompt more fighting. Come along.” He started walking again. Reyez followed, stuffing his hands in his pockets, Ailurmon trotted to his side again. Eva was rooted to the spot for a moment until Irbimon nudged her in the back of the leg, and then took her hand with his paw. He tugged her arm gently. She took an uneasy step forward and walked a few paces behind him.

-----------------------------

Poemon stumbled back to where Tom had thrown his D-Touch. It was flashing and ringing – again. It had been doing so constantly for about half an hour. As Poemon brought the green item up into her feathers it stopped ringing. She examined the caller ID. Eva had tried calling six times - James and Frankie once or twice each, too. But Tom was stubborn, ignoring all calls and messages. The crow Digimon sighed, holding tightly to the item and following her partner, who was still striding away purposefully, though without a destination in mind.

This wasn’t the first time Tom had lost his temper. It didn’t happen all the time, and in fact he hadn’t lost it like this for some time, but he was human. Everyone, Poemon rationalized, lost their cool at times. Tom was no different. She hoped this would turn out like the times before where Tom would let off his anger and then calm down and things would go back to normal. This is what she hoped, at least; she had never seen Tom get so angry with Eva. Nor Eva to be forced to technically pick sides.

Admittedly Irbimon could be a handful, and he made no secret of the fact he was not especially fond of Tom, and that he would try to interfere any time he and Eva had a moment together. In fact, Poemon herself was at times guilty of this, wanting his attention back on her, and not shared with Eva. Then again, Poemon would challenge any Digimon to be willing to share their partner’s attention or affections with anyone else. A bond between Digimon and human was special… but then, Poemon supposed, so was the bond between two humans.

At least that was what she believed regarding Tom and Eva. Most of the time at least. They complimented each other, and co-habited. They had somehow, even with the interference of Digimon, managed to keep a relationship going. Poemon imagined few else would have the same drive. That they would give up at the first sign of struggle on juggling Digimon with romantic life. With life in general.

The D-Touch started going off again, surprising Poemon. She had been following Tom on auto pilot and was now standing a few feet away from him where he stood at the edge of a pond, throwing stones into the water, making ripples. She heard Tom sigh.

“Give it here.” He held his left hand out without looking at his partner. Flustered, Poemon trotted towards him and handed him the D-Touch. He stared at it, at the caller ID where an image of Eva was flashing. For a moment, Poemon thought he was going to throw it into the water and readied herself to fly. Instead he simply hung up and started turning the D-Touch around all angles. “Isn’t there a damn off button?”


Poemon tilted her head. “I… that might not… I won’t be able to Digivolve if it’s off,” she said, her voice timid and quiet.

Tom sighed. “Right.” He shifted through some settings and tapped a button before returning to the main screen. “Vibrate it has to be then.” He pocketed the item and sat down on the grass. Bringing one leg up bent, he laid an arm over his knee and leaned his chin against it. Poemon fidgeted uneasily. “What do you think about the whole thing?”

“Me?” Poemon asked.

“Yeah. The whole… do you think I over-reacted?”

“I…” Poemon blinked her eyes slowly and looked out over the now still pond. The moon was rising into the sky now, reflecting over the surface. “A little,” Poemon said finally. Tom glanced at her. “You know how Irbimon can be… how manipulative. And how he adores Eva… and her attention.”

Tom grunted. “I get sick of it. We barely get any time, just Eva and me. Since you two evolved it’s been difficult to do anything as a couple.”

Poemon cleared her throat. “Don’t you think there are more important things at stake?”

“Sure,” Tom countered swiftly, “but I miss it just being her and me sometimes. Now we’re like surgically attached to you guys.” He cast a side-long glance at Poemon. “No offence.”

“We have to protect you,” Poemon retorted. “Now more than ever.” Around Tom, Poemon was able to speak up for herself. If around the others, or anyone else for that matter, she would agree with the easiest option, keeping her comments to herself entirely. “I apologize if we seem intrusive but we can’t afford to be negligent, or let our guards down, for even a minute.”

“Hmph,” Tom huffed, and rubbed a hand over his hair. His D-Touch vibrated in his pocket, he pulled it out and stared at the screen. “Don’t I know it. We’re reminded every minute of every day.” He placed it down on the ground face down, hiding the flashing image on the screen. Eva again.

There was nothing Poemon could think of to respond to that, so she simply nestled up to Tom as support. He wasn’t perfect, but that didn’t matter. And right now he seemed lonely, like he really just needed someone to lean on. Tom allowed himself a half-hearted smile and exhaled deeply.

-----------------------------

Eva was pacing frantically up and down the main room, staring at her D-Touch, typing like a maniac on the key pad. Another message to Tom. Irbimon and the other Digimon were all watching her curiously, following her trail up and down the room with their heads while they remained stationary. Her pacing seemed hypnotic to them.

She had left countless voice mails and sent more messages than she cared to think. Tom was either ignoring her – still – or was in a ditch somewhere unconscious or being eaten by Digimon. She hoped the latter wasn’t the case, but still couldn’t help worrying.

Piper was at the main table reading through scrolls, something she had started to do fill the time she would normally have spent studying. Plus, she believed knowing more about the Digital World would prove useful at some point. Frankie sat at the other side of the table watching Eva pace. Reyez and James kept to one side. Reyez was listening to the music he kept on his D-Touch, though he had almost grown sick of the playlist he had on there. He had listened to it so many times. He had found some paper that was sturdy enough for drawing, which kept him occupied. And James sat reading one of the many books Ryudamon had, many were from the real world.

“Tom, will you please pick up – we need to talk about this! Ignoring me isn’t going to help anyone!” Eva said into the D-Touch, leaving another message after Tom did not pick up, again. Out of frustration and close to tears, Eva threw the object onto a cushion and then flopped face first onto a futon. Piper glanced up from the scroll she was studied and eyed Eva, then Frankie. Frankie nodded and both girls rose from their places. Frankie crossed to Eva and sat down on a cushion beside her, Piper disappeared into the kitchen where the kettle had boiled about ten minutes ago.

“How’re you holdin’ up, hun?” Frankie asked, laying a hand on Eva’s shoulder. Eva groaned in response. “That good, huh?”

“Oh GOD! Frankie, I don’t know what to do! He could be dead for all I know!” Eva wailed. “And Ryudamon’s disappeared; he said he would go look for him. How can he look for him if he doesn’t know where he’s gone?!”

“I would guess Ryudamon knows the Digital World better than we do,” Frankie said, trying to soothe the other girl, while playing with Eva’s plum colored hair. “Besides, he probably has friends in high places watching out for Tom.”

“And he has Poemon, don’t forget that,” Siberimon added, coming to Frankie’s side.

Eva sniffed. “I guess… but still-“


“But still nothing,” Piper interjected gently. She was walking towards Eva with three mugs steaming in her hands. She set two down and held one out to Eva, who sat up and took it gratefully. She was shaking so much she could barely hold the mug to her lips, but the warm tea helped settle her nerves a little. Piper sat on the floor, crossing her legs. “I’m sure Tom is fine. Poemon would never let anything happen to him, and he’s smart enough to not do anything foolhardy.”

“Mhm-hm.” Frankie nodded confidently. “He’s probably just cooling off. I mean, come on, you guys have had fights before.”

“Yeah,” Eva murmured, taking another sip of tea. “But this was… different.” She shrugged.

Reyez chuckled from where he had been sitting and listening to the girl’s conversation. He no longer had his headphones in, and instead was leaning up, looking at the trio attentively. “Yeah, different. You pretty much broke his confidence and, ya’know, kind of said you would take the Digimon over him.”

“I… I didn-“

“Didn’t say anything?” Reyez interrupted. “Yeah… not in his defence when Irbimon was gettin’ at him. That must’ve hurt a lot.”

“He didn’t give me time to think!” Eva retorted, her voice raising a few notches.

Reyez scoffed. “Shouldn’t have to.”

“Rey…” Frankie glared at him.

“I’m serious,” Reyez continued, ignoring the other girl and focusing on Eva. “If you love the guy enough to live with him and all that jazz, then you shouldn’t have to think about whose side you take when he’s being attacked. Whether it’s your Digimon doing the attacking or not.”

“What do you know?” Eva snapped, folding her arms.

James closed his book. “I think, what Reyez is trying to say, is that you hurt his feelings. Contrary to popular belief, men have them too.”

Eva’s mouth opened to respond but she didn’t make a sound. No one else said anything. James returned to the page he had been on, and Reyez went back to his music. Piper sipped her tea, while Frankie spun her mug around in her hands.

“I guess I didn’t see it like that…” Eva murmured, talking to herself. She stared at her mug, at the liquid trembling in its ceramic confines. She hadn’t really considered how Tom would feel… or even how he did feel whenever Irbimon attacked him, or make small jibes, and Eva let them go. She hadn’t really considered how Tom might take it, that he might see it as her agreeing with what Irbimon said about him. Maybe instead of defending him, she was taking Irbimon’s side. Eva sighed shakily. “I’m awful.”

“Oh, honey…” Frankie sighed softly and rubbed her knee. “You’re not. You’re young. You made a mistake… there’s light at the end of the tunn-“

“OH!!” Everyone was up, surprised and alert at the new voice outside and the slamming open of the sliding tatami doors. The Digimon immediately were on the alert, moving to be close to their respective partners.

Holding the door open, panting and sweating like she had run a marathon at a sprint pace, was a girl in her early twenties. Her hair was a short red-brown colour, with a face painted with freckles. Her eyes were brown, wide and alert - also a bit on the panicked side. At her side was what appeared to be a bird Digimon. It had yellow legs, with claws, like those of a chicken. Its body was a soft teal gradient, and it had large wings with red tipped feathers. Grey eyes were staring at the scene before it.

The girl pointed and yelled loudly. “PEOPLE!”

Those occupying the room all exchanged looks as the brunette turned to the Digimon at her side. “You said there weren’t other humans in the Digital World, Auramon!”

“I… must have been mistaken.” The Digimon seemed as surprised as the girl was. “Hannah, I wasn’t to know. The Digital World is a very big place!”

“But-but-but!” Hannah flailed her arms. “LOOK!”

“I can see.” Auramon told her.

Piper rose to her feet and approached her. “Hi.” She grinned quickly. “Maybe we could continue this discussion in here. Loud noises and open doors tend to attract the nasties.” She moved to one side and beckoned with her hand for the newcomers to enter.

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Tom woke with an uncomfortable start, like he had suddenly tripped over in a dream and it had been the cause of his waking. He hadn’t even realized he had fallen asleep. Poemon was beside him, nestled up in her feathers and still sleeping soundly, undisturbed by Tom’s sudden movement. He sat up and reached for his D-Touch that was beside him to check the time. It was almost one in the morning, and he had more messages on his phone – both voice and text – from Eva. He felt a pang of guilt and put the object back on the ground.

She was probably worried sick about him.

Now that he had cooled off somewhat, Tom had some clarity to his situation and what it had been that set him off. He supposed – in simple terms – he was jealous of the attention Eva lavished on Irbimon. That no matter what, she always seemed to take his side; it didn’t matter if Irbimon was actually at fault, but that was what she did. Always, without fail.

Tom sighed and rubbed his hands over his hair. They needed to set things straight, to get some ground rules… that, somehow, would allow them to lead a ‘normal’ life with Digimon and daily impending Digimon attacks. And a set of murderous twins who wanted their blood.

“Yeah, normal.” Tom rubbed his face again and stretched.

“Girl trouble?” Tom started again, hearing a playful voice behind him. He turned quickly and met what was behind him. A relatively small Digimon, about three feet in height with a large head, partly covered with a black cowl which had eyes painted on to it - one red eye and one green eye. It had blue skin, large hands with big red claws and short legs. Its eyes appeared to be on its hands, as one held Tom’s D-Touch and the other was above the D-Touch apparently looking at it.


“Uh…”

“Dracmon, pleased to meet you.” The Digimon introduced himself and continued to play with the D-Touch. “Hey now, this is pretty snazzy.”

“Can I have it back? I’m not in the mood to play.” Tom reached for his D-Touch, Dracmon dodged and tutted.

“Hey now, ol’ Dracmon’s here to help you. Some friends told me you’d had a fight with a lady friend. Judging by the messages on this thing, seems like a big bust up.” Tom huffed and folded his arms. Poemon was gradually awakening to the noise caused by Dracmon’s fast talking. “Way I see it, women are a waste of time.” He hooked an arm over Tom’s shoulders.

“You would?”

“Undoubtedly. They nag; they get on your back about the littlest thing. They always want reassurance. Needy, needy, needy.” Dracmon shrugged. “Who needs that?” He was tossing the D-Touch up and down in one hand, now moving around to face Tom straight on.

“Will you give me the dam-“

“Ah-ah!” Dracmon held out his free hand and smiled nastily. “Eye of Nightmare…” he whispered. The eye on his hand stared into Tom’s eyes, holding him transfixed in place. It began to emit a red glow, and issued a humming sound. Tom blinked his eyes very slowly, as if he was trying to focus.

“Give… I need to call…”

“You don’t need to call anyone~” Dracmon told him with a grin. “You’ll be all faithful to me now!”

“Ohnoyoudon’t!” Poemon crowed from her spot, leaping into action and charging her smaller body into Dracmon’s. The gaze held between his hand and Tom broke and Tom fell back onto his haunches in a haze. Dracmon yelped and kicked Poemon off his body.

“You stupid-!”

“Pick on someone your own size!” Poemon huffed.

Dracmon surveyed her. “You’ll do.” He leaped from where he stood, lunging at Poemon, his arms extended. Poemon flapped her wings wildly, flying out of reach with moments to spare. “No fair!”

“Black Magic!” Poemon swooped one wing around her body, creating a black wind about her. It swiftly darted down at Dracmon, enveloping him. Poemon dove to the ground, grabbing the discarded D-Touch in her claws.

Dracmon fought off the winds, and snarled. His muscles bunched beneath him and he jumped. “Undead Fang!” His teeth bared, and arms outstretched, he grappled for Poemon. She flapped her wings again, but Dracmon was able to take hold of one of the holy rings on her wing and pull her to the ground with his weight.

“Ahhh!” Poemon screamed. “Help! Tom, help me!!” She squirmed, Dracmon’s fangs were nearing her body; she knew his ability was to suck the life force from another Digimon. “Nonononono!!” Her wings flailed under his weight, as did her feet, one of which still clutched the D-Touch tightly.

She felt Dracmon’s skin on the skin of her feet and was suddenly accosted by a memory – Ailurmon’s lesson. Her brows furrowed, she planted her feet firmly in Dracmon’s belly. Poemon inhaled deeply. “GET OFF ME YOU CREEP!!” she screamed, and kicked with as much strength as she could muster. Dracmon was sent reeling a few feet away from her with a screech. Poemon got to her feet and was airborne once again.


“You picked the wrong bird to tangle with!” she warned, her eyes narrowing dangerously. “Nevermore!” In a puff of black Poemon disappeared. She reappeared moments later, charging into Dracmon. She disappeared in a cloud again, and appeared once more.

Dracmon was advanced upon by the small crow Digimon time and time again, his body jerked from side to side, angle to angle, unable to counter attack as Poemon vanished and re-emerged too quickly for him. Finally, he fumbled to the ground and Poemon went in for a final attack. She soared up into the sky several meters and hovered for a moment while Dracmon tried to spot where she would come from next.

“Nevermore!” She evaporated a final time and dove from the height straight down, her wings folded back in, giving no friction against the wind. She materialized moments before impacting Dracmon’s head with her beak first. Dracmon cried out in pain as the charge hit dead on. Poemon landed on the ground, and turned in time to see Dracmon evaporating into data, which entered the D-Touch still clutched in her claw.

Danger averted, Poemon exhaled slowly. She turned and ran to Tom who was still in a hypnotized state.

“Tom? Tom!” Poemon shook his shoulders. “Can you hear me? He’s gone now!” No reaction. “We’re safe. We can go back. You can Eva can make up!” She shook him again. Tom groaned and his head flopped forward, limp. “T… Tom?” Another gentle shake. “To-Tom? Co-come on…”

“It’s all right.” Poemon gasped on hearing Ryudamon’s voice in the gloom. He emerged slowly, moving steadily towards Tom. “He’s just hypnotized, he’ll recover shortly.” Ryudamon lifted Tom’s head and moved it from side to side. Tom was grunting and groaning, as if awaking slowly from a terrible dream. “…Impressive though. To take on Dracmon alone like that. Not many others would.”

“I…” Poemon shrank back. “Protected Tom.”

“I know.” Ryudamon nodded slowly. “There is more to you than meets the eye… you should believe in yourself more.” Poemon stammered and examined her feathers to avoid speaking. “Did you know the Dark Queen was a powerful, respected and well loved warrior Queen?”

“N-no.”

“She was,” Ryudamon confirmed, though he kept his gaze firmly fixed on Tom, who was beginning to blink his eyes slowly. “She defended many in her region. She was fair, just… and while powerful, never used it for ill or made a show of it.”

“Mhm…” Poemon shifted. “I don’t see what thi-“

“You’re more like her than you would think. Give yourself time,” Ryudamon stated. Tom suddenly gasped and looked around blindly, confused. “Ah – finally. Now I think its best we all get back to safety… I know of someone eager to see you.”

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“Ohmygod. OhmyGOD!” Eva shrieked. She threw her arms around Tom’s neck, after running across the room when he had entered with Poemon and Ryudamon. She clutched her hands into his jacket, squeezing his body against hers. “I was so scared! I thought you were dead or being eaten!”

“Such a wild imagination you have…” Tom joked.

“And who is this?” Ryudamon asked, noticing the new addition to the group. Hannah and Auramon were sitting away with Piper and Caesarmon. Piper had been explaining who they all were, and how they were in the Digital World; Hannah had done the same.

“Oh! This is Hannah, and Auramon,” Frankie said. “New arrivals.”

“How did you get here?” Ryudamon queried curiously.

Hannah rubbed her hair uneasily. “Actually… I was hoping you could maybe answer that for me.”

“Gladly,” Ryudamon agreed and smiled. “Over tea? Piper, if you could do the honors?”

“You got it!” Piper was up on her feet and trotted to the kitchen.

Tom sighed slowly. Eva was still attached to him, her arms had now dropped to his waist, and his to hers, though she now looked at the goings-on in the main room. James had gone to bed now; Frankie was almost asleep on the futon. Reyez was snoring quietly against the wall, Ailurmon in his lap. He lightly pinched Eva’s sides. “We should talk.”

Eva swallowed, but nodded none-the-less. Tom’s hand slipped into Eva’s and he led the way up the stairs. Irbimon went to follow them, while Poemon had nested on a cushion. Siberimon grabbed his brother by the tail.

“Don’t even think about it.”

Upstairs, Tom slid the door shut silently. Eva had already sat down on the makeshift bed they had made, putting their mattresses and covers together. She fiddled nervously with the sleeve of her top. Tom ruffled his hand through his hair, puffing out his cheeks with a sigh as he paced over the floor, and finally sat down after removing his jacket.

There was a silence where they both avoided eye contact. Tom’s stomach churned uneasily.

“I shou-“

“I’m sor-“

Eyes met, and they both laughed. “You go first,” Tom proffered.

Eva nodded and sighed. “I uhm… I’m sorry. If you think I always take Irbimon’s side. I guess I didn’t realize it… and I didn’t consider how it would make you feel. I know you and Irbimon aren’t the best friends… and you can both insult each other, but when you insult him I come down on you – but when it’s the other way I ignore it. That’s not fair.” Eva was talking quickly, trying to get everything out and still make sense. “I don’t think you suck, of course I don’t. And I don’t… I mean… Irbimon is… I'll try to get Irbimon to stop his insults and unkindness. You’re both important to me. Both big parts of my life and… well… we’re all going to have to meet half way.”

As if to confirm to herself she had indeed finished, Eva firmly nodded her head for effect. Tom’s mouth slipped into a small smile. He took Eva’s hands from her lap, where she fiddled with her sleeves, and entwined his fingers. He planted a kiss on her forehead and dipped his head, his forehead against Eva’s.


“Half way is good,” Tom agreed. “I wanted to say I was sorry too – for flying off the handle. And accusing you. That wasn’t fair.” He paused. “But I think we should make a point of… being ourselves. I don’t know – I feel like maybe we’re attached at the hip sometimes. And I guess Irbimon makes a point that I kind of suck at holding down a job. When… if we get back home we’ll need to make a few changes. Try and make more time to be together as you and me, without our Digimon. Whether than means leaving them at home and going on a date, or shirking them off on someone else…”

“You mean, like date again?”

“Sorta. Just spend some quality time together and rediscover each other. And by quality time I mean time that isn’t in the apartment and doesn’t consist of us either trying not to be killed or fighting Digimon.”

Eva nodded her head slowly, agreeing again. Her hands wandered up Tom’s arms and encircled his face. Eva’s lips met Tom’s and she leaned up, rising onto her knees. Tom’s arms found their way to her hips. Parting for a moment, Eva’s nudged Tom’s nose with her own.

“Well… we’re alone now… no Digimon. No attacking. No needing to rescue the world…” Eva arched an eyebrow.

Tom laughed and his smile became devious. “Why Miss. Jarvis, are you trying to seduce me?”

Eva giggled. “Maybe a little.”


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